For a 99 year old mPower beneficiary in Drogheda, lockdown meant that she did not get to see her 80 year old daughter who lived in America. At her advanced age she thought she would never see her daughter again.
The local mPower team spent time with the lady to find out what was important to her and seeing her daughter proved to be the thing she missed the most. They suggested that an Alexa Show would enable her to see her daughter by video and would be a better means of communication than phone. She agreed to allow the team to install it and show her how to use it.
The Alexa Show proved to be invaluable as the lady could now happily see and converse with her daughter regularly. This lifted her spirits and made life so much better for her. As she said, “It’s almost like calling to her in the other room.”
Lockdown had also affected the lady’s mobility as she was suffering from arthritis. To overcome this the mPower team directed her towards Siel Bleu Ireland which is a voluntary organisation providing one to one fitness support for older people with chronic conditions. Even at 99 these exercises helped her recondition after various lockdowns meant a decrease to her movement and her mobility vastly improved as a result.
The partnership approach of mPower helped make the support given more effective. The local team were able to learn from partners in Scotland about how to support older people to get online and they were able to access training on how to do this. The key is not to delve too much at the outset into what technology can do but rather to focus on what the person is interested in and then show how the technology can help them explore that interest. In this case the “hook” was a wish to see her daughter and the Community Navigator was then able to easily identify tools which would enable her to do this.